Pops of flavour


I come from Kolkata and have lived in Bengaluru for most of my life. The month of December is always beautiful and we wait for Christmas every year. In
fact, as kids, on the first day of December every year, we would put up the decorations happily and exclaim, ‘Christmas is here’.

My grandmother would make wonderful traditional sweets like rose cake, ‘kalkals’, fruit cake and ‘gujiya’. I still remember how she would bake the cake in a woodfire oven.
Though that’s not the way it is made today, it would still taste so delicious. She would also make wonderful Goan desserts like doce and bebinca. On the evening of Christmas, we would visit all our relatives to see how they put up their decorations and exchange sweets with them. We still try to follow this tradition as much as possible.

Those days, food was not such a serious business. Yet as a kid, I would often hear intense discussions on it as I come from a family of chefs. So cooking was always a passion for me too.

The Christmas spirit is on in full swing once again this year and I would like to share the recipes of some simple sweets which are ideal for the season. All these dishes were a result of brainstorming and are loved by the kids. They are not only easy to make but can also be made with leftover cakes and brownies, helping you save food.

Two of the items — reindeer pops and Christmas tree pops — fall under the category of ‘cake pops’. While cake pops are yet to gain popularity in India, they are loved all over the world. This season, everyone loves to buy and make cakes. But that means there are a lot of leftover crumbs and sometimes, a lot of the cake gets wasted. So one can use them to make the pops. They turn out really tasty and are quite easy to make.

The third dessert is the orange jelly. Though I have added green colouring to it for the Christmas effect, the flavour, as its name suggests, is that of orange. Children love jelly and it’s healthy to make it using fruit. This jelly is served in orange skin and hence, absorbs the flavour of the fruit.”

Rana Dominic Gomes
Executive Chef
Royal Orchid Hotels
(As told to Deepa Natarajan Lobo)


Reindeer cake pops


* Chocolate brownie: 100 gm
* Melted chocolate: 100 ml
* Mixed nuts: 50 gm
* Whipped cream: 15 gm
* Plastic sticks: 5
* Flour: 50 gm
* Egg: 1


Break the brownie into small pieces, add nuts and make fine crumbs. Add melted chocolate and knead into a tight dough. Divide into small portions and make balls of them. Pierce the plastic stick into these and dip them into warm tempered chocolate. Keep aside to set.

For horns, beat egg and flour together into smooth paste. Using butter paper makes a cone and put the mixture in it. Pipe the mixture into the desired shape and bake it for 10-15 minutes. Decorate the pops with the horns using whipped cream and chocolate drops to make the eyes.

Christmas tree cake pops

* Leftover cake crumbs: 500 gm
* White chocolate: 500 gm
* Green colour food grade: ½ teaspoon
* Assorted edible sprinkles:  50 gm
* Plastic sticks:  10-12

Knead the leftover cake. If dry add sugar syrup or chocolate sauce. Make 12 approximate balls, 50 gms each. Melt chocolate on a double boiler or in a microwave. Add the colour, mix and keep aside. Take the cake balls. Pierce the plastic stick in the middle, and start shaping like a cone and shape it like a Christmas tree.

Dip the cake tree in the chocolate. Once cool, keep pouring chocolate with spoon. Take a toothpick and scratch the trees and sprinkle with decorations before they set.

Christmas jelly slices


* Orange: 4
* Gelatin: 1 pkt
* Green colour food grade: 1 teaspoon
* Water: 500 ml
* Sugar: 100 gm

Cut each orange in half. Remove the fruit and just retain the rind. Set aside. Soak the powdered gelatin in ice water. Heat the water on medium flame add sugar. Bring it to a boil and stir till the sugar dissolves. Add gelatin and whisk till it dissolves completely, add food colour, and allow it to cool. Pour the liquid into the orange shell, and chill in the refrigerator. Once set, dip a knife in hot water and cut into wedges and serve. 

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